18 2016 »

Devils Lake Guides Treat Guests to Memories and Fish Stories


Devils Lake, the lake and city with the same name in north-central North Dakota, caters to residents from every state and many countries every year.  The word “cater” brings up images of food, and that food comes from the lake itself, one of the most diverse fisheries in North America.  Most guests come for the fishing, where fish fillets top the menu.  They leave with memories, lessons-learned and fish stories.

Widely acclaimed for yellow perch and walleyes, Devils Lake also has one of the strongest northern pike populations (a 52-inch potential state record was caught and released earlier this season) and schools of 2 to 4 pound white bass.  What visitors like most are the many guide services that handle every need from first-class tackle to where to fish on the lake that has grown from about 40,000 acres to nearly 200,000 acres over the past 25 years.

Some of the guide services are featured here.  They offer much more than fishing, because many visitors want an easy-to-book fishing trip/resort stay.

Angling Quest Guide Service:  anglingquest.com; 701-230-9934.  Brian Frank, owner, and guide Jeremy Worden target all species in summer and winter.  Brian said, “I am a flight instructor and take pride in teaching – flying or fishing.  I want our clients to catch fish!  I do not follow the crowds, but put our clients on fish with crankbait casting, jigs, rigs, slip-bobbers or trolling.”  He has guided guests from ages 3 to 92, and can accommodate physically challenged anglers.  He also utilizes two guest lodges.

Bry’s Guide Service:  brysguideservice.com; 701-739-0161.  Targeting all species 12 months of the year, Mark Bry, owner, also offers waterfowl hunting.   He has full lodging with kitchens and can provide meals if requested.  “We love to do fish fries for clients,” Mark said.  He and his guides pride themselves in accommodating all ages and skill levels, including those in wheelchairs.  “We meet guests at our lodge and take them to the best bite on the lake.  We fish the most comfortable and productive methods. We want our clients to experience the trip of a lifetime,” he said.

Johnnie Candle, Professional Angler:  johnniecandle.com; 701-371-9431.  Johnnie is a world walleye champion on the pro circuit, has been guiding half his life, and said, “I use the technique that will connect us with as many fish as possible.  Some clients could care less if they catch fish, they just want lessons on new tactics (for them), and those are great trips because they catch fish and learn something new.”  He is on the speaker/seminar circuit all winter, but on the water every day in spring, summer and fall.  He offers accommodations and said, “As a way of giving back, kids that do not need a fishing license are half price.”

McQuoid Outdoors, mcquoidguides.com; 701-351-6058.  Located on the western edge of Devils Lake in Minnewaukan, Aaron McQuoid, owner said, “We specialize in making your trip – whether business or family – the best it can be with deluxe lodging and considerate guides.  We take care of all the details and seem to be on the water every day of the year.”  Clients will learn a variety of fishing methods with Aaron, which change almost daily.  He fishes open and hard water.

Rod and Gavin made their yearly trip to Mitchell's Guide Service.

Rod and Gavin made their yearly trip to Mitchell’s Guide Service.

Mitchell’s Guide Service (15 professional guides), fishdevilslake.net; 701-662-6560.  Guide, TV host and fishing industry spokesman Jason Mitchell said, “The team at Mitchell’s Guide Service has the most experience guiding and fishing Devils Lake and we use a teamwork approach to stay on fish.”  The guides include past PWT and FLW winners that fish every month of the year.  Jason said, “These guys are seasoned and knowledgeable, but most importantly, they are patient with customers who want to learn patterns and locations.”  Day rates and exclusive packages including corporate outings are available.  “Specific requests can be accommodated,” he said.

Perch-Eyes Guide Service & Lodging, percheyes.com; 701-351-1294 or 701-473-2533.  Jason Feldner, owner and his five full-time guides live by this motto, “Here at Percheyes, people come as customers and leave as friends.”  Most customers take advantage of the 4-night and 3-day fishing packages and stay in fully-furnished houses or cabins. In summer, clients will be exposed to tactics and details necessary to catch fish, learning from the guide-instructors.  In winter, they travel with guides to the best fishing spots.

Rush Valley Guide Service, rushvalleyguideservice.com; 701-740-3868.  In addition to catching Devils Lake walleyes, perch, white bass and pike, Ross Sensiba and his guides share the history and changes that have occurred to the lake over the decades.  The fishing tactics are spot-on for each day on the water.  “Many guests fish and stay with us (spacious furnished rooms for families and groups) because they want to know more about the area and the fishing for future trips here.  We want them to come back often, and we encourage them to return with others and bring their own boats or fish with us again.  It’s always an adventure here.”

The latest fishing reports can be found at devilslakend.com.  The website features fishing guides, ramps, fish-cleaning stations, fishing conditions, events, resorts, lodging and restaurant news plus a helpful map.  For more information, call 701-662-4903.

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